How to team build in a racially-culturally-and-personality-conflicted team – HR Pulse

Published on 15 Jan 2013 in HR PulseFor more articles relevant to the HR Community

Brian V Moore

In 2002, we were called in to Eskom by Bruce Moody, a high-level HR officer at Eskom. He said: “We have some heavy cultural clashes in a technical service centre in the Northern Province [now Limpopo].

Do you think that you can you do something to change the situation?”

“I am sure we can.” I responded. “What are the challenges?”

Bruce pondered for a while and said: “There are some heavy racial attitudes from all sides. In fact, I don’t really know why I am asking you! What are you, a white man and your Indian wife, going to do to make a difference? This is a bunch of tough hardliners. They have a long history of conflict and nothing that we have done has worked.

“Let’s get this clear: These are heavy workplace disputes!” said Bruce. “There is continuous backstabbing and gossiping. They complain that everything is wrong and nobody is to blame! They are totally unmotivated and their productivity is very low, which is resulting in poor customer service.”

Arthie, my wife and business partner, asked: “What do you think is causing this?”

Bruce gave Arthie a knowing look: “Well obviously there is very low morale among them because of the constant bickering. There is racism, prejudice, laziness, no ownership, no accountability and poor communication – and I mean REALLY poor!” He took a deep breath, shook his head, and continued: “This is a hugely conservative area where old attitudes die very hard. It could be the worst case that you could ever take on.”

I felt confident we could take on the challenge

We were almost overpowered by his statements, but I had no doubts. If I could work in areas, as a peacemaker, where bullets were flying, we could duck a few words.

“We can do this. When do you want us to start?” We were given two weeks to prepare.

We hit the ground running

We had to find ways to build relationships swiftly with groups of people who we had never before encountered in an area of the country where we had NO experience. We spent the time studying the history of the area, and the cultures and languages of the people in the team.

Arthie and I then put together the Celebrating Humanity Team Conflict Resolution programme for diverse teams. This fun, exciting, inclusive and enjoyable programme included celebrating diversity, diversity management, team building and a sustainable long-term team-managed code of conduct.

And so we set off to the town where the centre was located

As we drew closer to the centre, we passed a huge flock of vultures feeding on the carcass of a wild animal. I silently prayed that it was not an ominous sign!

When we arrived, Jan – the depot supervisor – greeted us. He then took us aside and pleaded: “You must just motivate them. They need it.” I looked at his stressed face and saw a man in pain. He was ready to explode. Another senior member of the team said: “If you guys mention racism, just once, we WILL walk out.”

We had to change the mood from the outset. We spent that night in the training room transforming the venue into one of celebration: Balloons, happy colours, hand-drawn posters and a very unique seating arrangement…

The next morning we found separated groups sitting together. They were grouped by colour, language and level. All in their own comfort zones. All spiritually, emotionally and physically apart. Some were obviously angry and others totally disinterested.

Then we began to help them to celebrate their humanity

Three days and 21 working hours later, the same people were sitting side by side at a family barbecue. Children played with children. Wives chatted to each other while the men cooked meat, spoke about cars, sport and laughed as they shared jokes.

They had experienced each other in a fun environment, shared wisdom, seen value in each other, worked as teams, cleared all of their past interpersonal baggage, committed to a code of positive behaviours and removing their negative actions from their lives.

15 months after the first intervention, Jan sent this feedback

“I had a group of 30 people from diverse cultures. They could not get on with each other:

There was continuous friction between the different race groups, and between people from the same race and cultural group. The people were negative and not satisfied with anything.

Complaints were the order of the day. This also placed our depot in a bad light with management.

We decided on Brian and Arthie’s training. The people were very negative about the programme initially.

As the course progressed, peoples’ attitudes changed from negative to positive.

Communication, respect and ownership improved from all sides by 100%. The respect between different race groups has been restored.

Some of the people who were negative have changed so much that they have been promoted to higher positions with greater responsibility.

The foundation of the entire course was so successful that the group is now going ahead with a leadership course.”

Now that was the change that we had been looking for!

via How to team build in a racially-culturally-and-personality-conflicted team – HR Pulse.

New Brian V Moore website

Team Building in South Africa, Team Conflict Resolution and Diversity Management Consultant and EFT Therapist,  –  Brian V Moore is often described as a Breyani Mix as he is of Irish, English, Welsh and Scottish ancestry, was born in Northern Rhodesia (Zambia), of South African parents, was raised in Port Shepstone, became a member of a Zulu tribe and married into a South African Indian family.

He has been the catalyst for Celebrating Humanity International – formerly Mthimkhulu International – and focuses on building respect, accountability and unity within diverse teams, removing conflict within teams, diversity management training and transformational team building.

He and Arthie have created the Dream Dynasty programme – to put the dream back into education and the Legacies Africa campaign.

Together they have created the Team Building in South Africa and the Diversity Training in South Africawebsites.

He now has a new website. Connect here with Brian V Moore.

Request a Team Building, Diversity Training
or Team Conflict Resolution proposal –
on http://www.celebrating-humanity-projects.com
or email: brian@africa-dreams.com
or call +27 79 643 4457

New site – Diversity Training in South Africa.com

Diversity Training in South Africa – a member of the Celebrating Humanity International stable has a brand new website. So too, does the founding director, author and diversity speaker – Brian V Moore. Learn more about  fellow director, writer and powerful catalyst of change – Arthie Moore.

Make contact or speak to Brian V Moore

Spirit of African Leadership.
Traditional and Western Leadership has a legacy of “I tell – you do.” Although there is a growth in the concept of participative leadership this is not enough.

The young man and lady slouched back in their chairs during a recent 1 day Celebrating Humanity diversity training session.

She spoke up, “This is brilliant. But where are the managers and directors?”.
“Yes.” the young man agreed, “They always send us on courses, yet it is they who need the most change. They just decide that we must be trained. And they don’t know what it is about, nor do they follow the “new” way.”

Simply put team members are no longer pawns. They can be fully participating members of any organisation as long as:

• there is full ownership for their personal behaviours and actions, from all members of the organisation – from board level to the general workforce.
• all team members are valued, feel valuable and value the uniqueness and difference in others.
• all are part of a team where everyone operates within a peer-selected, peer-managed set of positive and values and behaviours and actively exclude non-acceptable behaviours from their interactions.
• a peer-controlled inter-personal values-based structure is constituted and managed on a regular basis.
• A separate set of organisational values/ principles has been developed and accepted by all role players to ensure that issues such as client relationships, theft, corruption, fraud, professionalism are all adequately covered by company regulations.
It is critical that no-one is above the rules of inter-personal respect and organisational values.
Leaders lead and work with people. Leaders are accountable to self, team and company.
Traditional managers manage resources. They are only accountable to their seniors.

Brian V Moore
www.brianvmoore.com

7 Steps to Resolving Team Conflict

The 7 Steps to Resolving Team Conflict – in the Celebrating Humanity© Way

From the book “Team Conflict Resolution Strategies – Fast and Effective ways to Remove and Reduce Stress in Teams”, by Brian V Moore.



Brian and Arthie Moore, of Celebrating Humanity International, have over 15 years experience in diversity management, transformational team building and team conflict resolution. 1000s of people have benefited and transformed through the Celebrating Humanity programme©, in South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and the USA.

1.   Step 1 – Know what you want to achieve, AND know where you and your team are, before you begin. “Begin with the end in mind” – Steven Covey. It is critical to know and record, what your challenges are at the outset of this amazing journey with your team/s. The team needs a joint vision of what they can achieve through unity, teamwork and harmony.

2.   Step 2 – Follow the 8 Principles of Team Conflict Resolution through the internationally proven Celebrating Humanity© methodology. Celebrating Humanity’s unique, transformational team building and conflict resolution techniques are founded in these 8 amazingly simple and stunningly effective principles.

         1. “At the level of respect, all people are equal.” – Brian V Moore – 2001.
         2. “No man is an island” (English Proverb.) “Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu” (Nguni Proverb)
         3. We are perfect as we are.
         4. Life rewards action. Positive and negative.  
         5. It is simply impossible for any person to manage the behaviour of other people.
         6. People will manage their own behaviour, if they set the ground rules themselves.
         7. “People know and help those who speak up – not those who remain silent.” Oshiwambo proverb – Namibia.

3.   Step 3 – Build unified Teamwork across the entire team, company/ organisation. Apply a transformational team building process that will bring harmony, understanding, emotional and social maturity, communication skills, respect, ownership and accountability to your conflicted teams.

4.   Step 4 – Set the Peer-created, Peer-accepted and Peer-managed Team Code of Conduct. When your team makes these decisions, and all team members commit to follow an agreed and constituted process – you are well on your way to a conflict-free team, company/ organisation. This reduces stress on management and clients.

5.   Step 5 – Clear past interpersonal challenges – and open the way forward. Your team will no longer be dogged by its own conflicted history, the path will be clear for powerful and exciting results and successes.

6.   Step 6 – Place your team firmly in charge of their own behaviour. It is at this point that your team members commit to themselves, the company/ organization and immediately begin to operate in a new and safe working environment.

7.   Step 7 – Maintain – the new conflict-free status quo.
Properly constituted and maintained team agreements which will last for as long as you desire, and your and the team maintain the status quo.

8.   What we do NOT do.

         1. We never focus on the “problems”, or the “problem people”. If there is conflict in your team, there is far more going on than you will ever realise. And any direct focus on the particular individuals will empower them and ruin the process.
         2. We do not have mediation sessions with the “problem people” to clear the problems. This will isolate all of your team members, and the challenges will emerge again, in another form altogether.
         3. We do not judge, or work out of our own judgments.
         4. We do not send the “problem people” off for emotional, or diversity training, and ignore the rest of the team.
 

“Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead.

Brian V Moore Website

Diversity Training in South Africa

Africa Dreams Website – Celebrating Humanity International

Celebrating Humanity Projects

Team Building in South Africa

Celebrating Humanity Blog

Celebrating Humanity on Facebook

Contact

Mobile: +27 (0)79 643 4457

Fax: +27 866 746 310

 

 

Brian Moore – Speaker



Brian V Moore, International Speaker and Facilitator Extraordinaire! Brian V Moore, international speaker and facilitator, is the  Managing Director of Celebrating Humanity International (formerly Mthimkhulu International.

He is a Zambian born South African , of Irish descent , brought up in Port Shepstone and adopted by a Zulu Tribe.

He speaks several languages fluently, including English, Zulu and Afrikaans. He currently greets in more than 60 other languages.He received a Community Builder Award from Archbishop Desmond Tutu for his contribution to bringing peace to the once troubled Dusi Canoe Marathon.

Brian is the key founder and co-creator of the Celebrating Humanity Diversity Training, Team Building and Team Conflict Resolution Programmes. His vision, focus and commitment toward Transformational Team Building has transformed lives across the board and instills a new sense of hope for all who attend his courses and presentations. Known traditionally as “Mthimkhulu, or Bhungane”, in the Zulu community, he has lived an incredibly full South African and African life – and is filled with passion for Africa and its peoples.

He is the author of an e-book, titled, “Team Conflict Resolution Strategies”, which is currently used locally and internationally i.e. USA, UK, Australia and South Africa. He has a great depth of knowledge and experience in business, customer care, conflict resolution, communication, cultures, diversity, relationships, traditions and traditional proverbs.

Brian was recently the guest speaker and Chairman of the World Learning Summit in Hong Kong in February 2009. He was also the Business Sponsor and Speaker at the Annual Diversity Conference held in London.

He has spoken and facilitated change with thousands of people in Zambia, Namibia, Swaziland, Hong Kong, Rhode Island – USA, Connecticut – USA and across South Africa.

Brian’s storytelling, ability to involve his audiences and his tremendously human touch will delight, wow and entice multi-diverse audiences to see diversity at a much different and deeper level.

Brian is willing and able to travel anywhere in the World, to enchant your people!

Experience the Magic!